Hi friends,

In response to last week’s blog about Leaving Well, a reader asked me to expand on what “honorably” meant when leaving or staying well.

Initially I was going to answer her question directly, but thought it might be more meaningful to answer it here because the answer affects us all who are trying to live a God-centered life. Dawn, who wrote about leaving well, said her one focus was to leave her marriage honorably and conduct herself throughout the stages of ending her marriage in a way she didn’t regret. She also was honest enough to admit she didn’t succeed at this all of the time, but it gave her something to aspire toward.

The other women who wrote blogs about choosing to stay well also aspire to that same goal. Therefore let’s look at what it means practically.

The third principle in building our CORE is R- I will be responsible for myself and respectful towards others without dishonoring myself.

So let’s start there. When you dishonor yourself you behave in a way that is contrary to the person you want to be. We all do it sometimes. We explode in anger, we tell a lie, we cower in passivity, or we ignore something we should pay more attention to and it ends up biting us later with negative consequences or regret.

This morning I talked with a woman who was behaving dishonorably towards her spouse. She said, “I’m surprised you’d be willing to work with me because I’m such an awful person.”

I reminded her that her thoughts about herself were not true. The fact that she hates how she is behaving says she’s not an awful person. If she were an awful person she wouldn’t be grieving about her behaviors nor would she be calling me for help. Instead she’d be telling herself she was justified because her husband deserved it. Isn’t that exactly what abusers tell themselves when they abuse?

Therefore, behaving honorably means you act with integrity, congruency, and alignment with the person you are or say you want to be, not how you feel in the moment. You behave honorably because that’s who you are, not because the other person deserves it.

Whether or not you stay married, or leave a destructive person, you always have to live with yourself. When you make decisions or behave in ways that are contrary to the person you say you are or want to be negative consequences will result.

One, you will be miserable and racked with guilt and shame because you are behaving contrary to your own values. Or, the other negative consequence will be that the person you are or have been will begin to change. Your dark side will take over your personality and the person you used to be will no longer be there. Neither place is a good spot to be. That’s why it’s important that you practice living from your CORE if you want to walk through a destructive relationship or even a difficult life circumstance in a healthy way.

If you need more help in understanding CORE STRENGTH, we are having two sessions of an introduction to building CORE strength August 12 and 19. For more information click here.

 

This week we are going to hear from a man (H) who is working hard to be a better man. H was a high energy business owner with 165 employees and four offices, he sold his company and retired after 30 years of marriage, his wife W was a stay at home mom who raised three kids. All three kids married and moved within 2 years of H retiring.

H & W Separated after 32 years of marriage, and just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary and are working hard to rebuild their marriage in a healthy way.

H has graciously outlined the steps that have helped him see his hurtful behaviors, to stop them and what it took to change way he thinks and feels and how he now tries to relate with his wife.

Next week we will also hear from his wife (W) who has had her own journey to stay well, rebuild trust and change behaviors that enabled some of H behavior.

H wrote: Leslie these are 10 items I have and am working on in myself that have helped to improve our relationship and communication:

Getting my attention – God used a lot of circumstances to get my attention. I read a lot of books, including yours, on emotionally destructive relationships, unhealthy families, marriage books, and books on shame. We pursued counseling together and separately, listened to a lot of Tim Keller sermons, read thru the Bible yearly, kept a journal, met with a mentor biweekly, and my pastor monthly. I have a men's accountability group that meets weekly, (four men that are very close and keep in touch with each other throughout the week with texts and calls).

Every bit of it has been helpful; I wouldn't leave anything out. It feels to me like the Holy Spirit has been guiding the process. The main thing for me is to maintain a willing attitude and to be “all in” and keep focused on myself, not on my wife.

Entitlement attitude – A distorted view of the world that I got from my childhood has made a shift over the last several years. I learned from my family, especially my mother, that you could make other people responsible for the way you feel. By “entitlement attitude” I mean the belief that you are entitled to have the people that love you do and say the things necessary to make you happy. This attitude made it very hard for me to move forward until I faced the fact that this belief system is not only distorted– but also kept me dependent on others for my own happiness.

This belief system created the craziness in my childhood family and has perpetuated itself in my current family.The truth is, there is nothing outside of myself that can fix me, and as long as I wait for circumstances to change to be happy, I'm living in an illusion and am going to be disappointed and frustrated.  What I need to fix myself is inside myself. I believe the Holy Spirit lives inside of me and one of his functions is to serve as my comforter and guide. The catch is I have to listen and follow his guidance.

I have everything inside myself I need to be at peace with everything that is outside myself. (Tweet that)

For me, it can't be overstated how fundamental this shift is to everything else, because you don't have a grid to start really making progress, until you stop blaming other people and circumstances for the way you feel.

Nine-month separation – I don't think it would've worked for me without separating and living apart from my wife. This was incredibly painful for me, but was really needed to get away from the blame game we were playing and give each other time to work on our own stuff without arguing and degenerating. I'm not saying this would be what everyone needs; it's just what I needed for the Holy Spirit to really work on my core stuff. I didn't even know a lot of the stuff that was going on in my heart and sub-conscience, and getting quiet, slowing down, and living apart facilitated having a chance to grieve. This was also helpful in getting over my fear of being alone.

Admitting I was wrong – I took a trip to see my dad and really confess to him the way I felt I had failed in my marriage. This was very painful and set the stage to make a lot of progress. I also confessed directly to my wife and still do.

Create a safe environment – Some of the things that trigger my wife are when I am being harsh and interruptive, trying to talk over her, and not giving space between her expressing her feelings and my interjecting my feelings. When I get upset and trigger I will typically get harsh, and for me the only option is to get away until I regain my perspective. It usually takes about 20 minutes. Honoring each other’s request for timeout is essential; if we stay engaged when we are upset we will escalate and argue.

Enduring flat and discouraging times –

I have more influence on myself than anyone else, because I talk to myself more than anyone else.

A lot of people write about this concept but it has been incredibly helpful. Here’s a few of the labels: “talk to your head, don't let your head talk to you”, “the power of one”, “the power of positive thinking”, “praise and adoration” etc.Here's how it works for me. When I get really frustrated at my wife, I can sit down with a pad of paper or just in my mind and begin to make a list about everything I am thankful for and qualities about her that I appreciate. After a few minutes whatever mood I was in is significantly better (on a scale of 1 to 10, usually 2 points better).

This seems like a minor thing, but when you're down and discouraged, it's incredibly helpful to know that you have the power to change the way you feel because you have the power to choose what you think about.

Stay in community – I have gotten really close to some men whom I can share anything with, and they with me. When we get really frustrated, we text or call each other. It seems like God usually provides a divine appointment at the perfect time. After talking it usually dissipates my frustration. In the past, I took this energy to my wife, and it almost always ended poorly.

Lean into the emptiness – I call this judo instead of boxing. When I try to fight against the loneliness and frustration I feel it just gets worse. If I can get quiet and take this frustration and emptiness to the Lord, and not try to run to something else, I find that my negative emotions have a bigger bark than bite. In other words, the feelings won't kill me, it just feels like they will. Processing my frustration with God, and not apart from him, is the key.

Tyranny of the urgent – Probably the best correlation between my daily effectiveness and ineffectiveness is whether or not I get quiet that day. What I mean by quiet is setting aside all the noise of that day (all the externals) and quieting myself in order to find out what’s going on inside of me. As I get in touch with what’s going on, I take that emotion to the Lord, rather than withholding it from him.  I find he usually will give guidance (often from the Scriptures). It’s a quiet awareness that I will miss if I don’t get quiet. I have to choose to listen and respond, and it's pretty easy when I get busy to stop listening and preoccupy myself with the urgent issue of the day. I end up accomplishing nothing important.

Miscellaneous – Here's some odds and ends that have been helpful for us:

Maintain separate outside interests. We’re both retired and having work to do that is bigger than us (Ephesians 2:10) is essential.Do things together. We go to exercise class together, travel together; have coffee in the mornings on the back deck together, and date with and without other couples regularly. On date nights we have “high 5 time” meaning we can't bring up anything controversial. The purpose of the date is just to enjoy each other. We try to pray together regularly, especially for the children. We struggle to make this a habit. We do “daily appreciations”, where we make eye contact and affirm each other.

There has been a shift in the way I communicate (this is especially helpful to men because it's counterintuitive). It’s very important that I listen, listen, and listen some more and don't try to fix the problem! When I don't know what my wife needs, I need to ask her and not assume I know what she needs. Let my wife be different from me. It’s God's blessing to learn to see the room from a perspective other than my own.

The biggest thing of all- preach the Gospel to yourself every day, and live the Gospel in your marriage every day – in other words don't try to earn your relationship with God or your wife, and give and rest in unconditional love. Forgive and don’t let the resentment build up. Release it every day and grant each other daily forgiveness.

Last thought, relationships and emotions swing, remember it's never as good as you think it is when it's really good, and it's never as bad as you think it is when it's really bad.

106 Comments

  1. Dawn on July 29, 2015 at 8:57 am

    So great to hear a male perspective. Thank you, H, for sharing your vulnerable heart — God is at work!
    Thank you, Leslie, for defining so beautifully the concept of honorable in leaving honorably. I would add a visual that has been helpful for me in attaining that goal. In any given situation, as I am choosing my response, I quickly try to imagine that response as a love offering I am going to present at the feet of Jesus before the Throne as a token of my love for Him. When I open that vial (like Mary’s costly perfume) will that choice exude a beautiful fragrance before Him — a sweet aroma — or will it be putrid and noxious. Some days I imagine Him wanting to jump off the throne and run when He sees me approaching with my vials ;)! But I remember that each honorable choice in each moment builds upon the last to lay the pathway out of this dark valley.
    Soft hearts, open ears and right choices are the tools we need to achieve “honorable” in any given situation — in any calling. May not only our prayers but our choices be a sweet aroma to Him today.

  2. Natalie on July 29, 2015 at 9:13 am

    This was helpful on so many levels. I loved the introductory reminder of what it means to honor ourselves: “Therefore, behaving honorably means you act with integrity, congruency, and alignment with the person you are or say you want to be, not how you feel in the moment. You behave honorably because that’s who you are, not because the other person deserves it.”

    And it helps to see what a husband who is pursuing real change might say and do. As everyone here knows – that can be one of the most confusing parts of deciding whether to stay or leave.

    Thank you, Leslie!

    • Leslie Vernick on July 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      You’re welcome Natalie.

  3. Brenda on July 29, 2015 at 9:30 am

    “Last thought, relationships and emotions swing, remember it’s never as good as you think it is when it’s really good, and it’s never as bad as you think it is when it’s really bad.”

    It is exciting to hear from a man who understands what he has done in his marriage and going through as many steps as it takes to rebuild the trust and relationship. This is so rare.

    I do not agree with the above quote. Having been in the bad that was really bad…..there are things that are really that bad. Perhaps that is a good way for H to see things as he makes the necessary changes. For me, it was a bit triggering from past life’s experiences and abuse. My life wasn’t taken although there were times that I wanted Jesus to take me home. I have gained strength post marriage and do not intend to take that lightly. God has been good through all things.

    • Leslie Vernick on July 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Another way to think about his quote is that when things are really really good, there is always a down side, and when things are really really bad, there is always an upside if we are willing to “see” it. It’s usually when things are really bad that we’re so caught in the badness of the bad, that it’s hard to even consider that there might be something “good” here for me to learn, or grow in or to discover.

      • Susanne on July 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

        Love this explanation Leslie…it is so true.

      • Lisa on July 30, 2015 at 1:44 am

        “It’s usually when things are really bad that we’re so caught in the badness of the bad, that it’s hard to even consider that there might be something “good” here for me to learn, or grow in or to discover.”

        Leslie,

        Could you offer examples of the good things? Otherwise it is triggering as marriage counselors telling an abused woman she must stay married, because God will bring something good out of it.

      • Robin on August 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        Leslie- I might have missed it, but how long has this man stayed changed. Has it been long enough to know that it is true change???
        I read an article by Lundy Bancroft recently that surprised me- he didn’t think abusers had a real change. He might have said almost never it just left me wondering. My daughter recently reconciled with her husband 2 years after the divorce. By all appearances he seems like a new man and is doing a lot of the things mentioned in this blog. Just wondering what measure of time is needed to know if it’s a real authentic change.

        • Leonie on August 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

          Lundy says they need to really do the work and not give up – also he says they reed treatment for at least 2-3 years. He says it as hard or harder to break a wife abuse or battering problem as an alcohol or a drug abuse problem. I was listening to a talk by him on “the audacious life” on you tube. He says if the man is still lying or justifying or hiding things or not admitting to everything he did to her or accepting responsibility for only a part of what he did or is still blaming her his wife those are clues he is not doing the real work of changing.

          • Robin on August 2, 2015 at 7:56 pm

            Thanks Leonie. What was that article from Lundy you posted recently- I was shocked at his very low hope and statistics for abusers.



          • David on August 3, 2015 at 11:30 am

            This obsession the l Bancroft is very very disturbing as he is very negative to husbands who wish to change, says that they can never. So I Google him, his bio, and found this “Bancroft, a non-Christian, ‎ “‎ – that explains a lot as he would not be familiar with my God where nothing is impossible, my deep concern is that the women on this blog are giving much cred to a nonbeliever which is not wise. 



  4. Lynn on July 29, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Leslie, this might not be the proper forum to ask this question. But here goes in hopes to find answers.
    I was able to get out of a bad marriage where my husband was using drugs and gambling. I have friends in similar situations but are suffering at the hands of their adult sons as opposed to their spouse. Its not an option to get out of that relationship. Where can I direct them for help? I want to help them and they reaching out to me as they see that I have survived but it seems so different. Do you have colleagues who specialize in this type of relational situations?

    • Leslie Vernick on July 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Lynn, I’d refer the parents to AlAnon, or Allison Bottke’s SANITY where she talks about setting boundaries with adult children. The adult parents will still need to learn to speak up, stand up and/or step back with boundaries and consequences if the adult child’s addictions are causing harm to them. You don’t get out of a relationship with a child who is grown, but you may need to limit your contact with them if they are stealing from you to support their addictions.

      • Lynn on July 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Thank you. I will rely the information. Unfortunately, these adult men are living with their mothers and not only living off of them (financially) but causing lots of anxiety and chaos. I believe it to be a form on enabling but I suppose they have to figure that out on their own. Thank you!

        • Betsy on July 30, 2015 at 7:14 am

          Lynn

          I would also suggest Families Anonymous for your friend. She can also find 12 step support meetings on line.

  5. Anne on July 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Wow this was powerful to read. Thank you for sharing. My husband and I are separated and I am devastated. I pray every night – he is not religious but I do feel God’s hand in play and have seen things that could’ve only happened by the grace of God. Thank you again.

    • Betsy on July 31, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Anne

      Can I ask what happened between you and your husband? I have felt devastated too in my marriage. We are in the same house, but we live like roommates. It is incredibly painful. Tonight seems really tough as he barely acknowledges me.

  6. Betsy on July 29, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Wonderful to read how a man thinks and feels and what actions he is taking. Of course I want to send to my husband, instead I will focus on what I need to do …. which is “I will be responsible for myself and respectful towards others without dishonoring myself.” I have been incredibly dishonoring and abusive to myself.

    I am going to write on a sticky note what Leslie said about responsibility and honor and put it in front of my laptop at work. This past year I have been operating the exact opposite way because of the state of my marriage and the turmoil I have inside.

    My husband had knee surgery last Friday. I have been taking care of him for the past 5 days. It has been a welcome relief from the normal disdain he throws at me. I have been taking care of him with unconditional love and
    honor. As he is regaining his strength and weaning off the pain medication, he is starting the criticism and stone walling.

    I will keep my head up high and not allow my self to “cower in passivity”. I will be courageous and leave the company of my husband when he says hurtful things to me and is harsh. I understand that my husband feels entitled to treat me the way he does, that’s his problem not mine. The condition of his heart is poor. I can’t join him any more.

    • Betsy on July 30, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Island girl
      I need to print out my response. I was losing it last night and this morning….thankfully internally and not outward.

      Thank you God for a new day to hold my head up high and not cower in passivity.

  7. Sunshine on July 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    This is interesting and enlightening at first read. As I think on this, I am frustrated at my own situation. I read that this couple is more than thirty years into marriage and then they start making real progress on their relationship. I do not want to work on myself for the next fifteen years and then hope and pray that my husband finally gets on board with making our relationship a priority so that 30 years into our marriage, after kids are grown, my husband wakes up to the blessings of wife and family. I suppose that this world would say I deserve to be happy now. The church tells me that I need to love and honor my husband and our marriage vows and my own personal happiness is not a priority. I feel stuck between experiencing real joy in daily life and religious rules. I can either be joy filled away from my husband or I can be miserable and on guard, but doing the right thing according to the church, by staying married. I am glad that this husband shared his work. It will make a difference. There needs to be more of this exposure for men to follow.

    • Leslie Vernick on July 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Sunshine, I’d try to let go of the “rules” of the faith and focus right now on your relationship with God. He loves you. He wants your best. We don’t always know which way is our true best and so we don’t want to make a crucial decision apart from God.

      • Sunshine on July 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm

        Thank you for your words. It makes me feel heard, Leslie.

        • Mary on August 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm

          Can you learn to live in your CORE in this relationship? Can you still feed your soul and endure the abuse, while not engaging in it? Have you tried to stop reasoning with an unreasonable man? Let him rant, if you must for survival and imagine yourself in another place. Look in his direction and invite Jesus to hold you close. Call out for angels and they will surround you. You take the bait he is throwing your way and stay smart. Street smart, spiritually smart and intellectually smart—-you deserve it.

    • Sunshine on July 29, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      I have four children at home under age 10. They are seeing destructive behavior from their father and are questioning it. I wonder if I am allowing more damage by staying or if I would create more if I left now. I know my attitude can determine a lot of the feeling in the home. I just can’t cover for my husbands poor behavior. My kids are not blind. My oldest daughter wants nothing to do with her father. She has experienced so much lying and sees for herself how he contradicts himself and expects more from the girls than the boys. I work. For years he has had a job and lost it. I have been consistent. I pay the bills. He takes all the glory for what we have and how wonderful the kids behave. I can swallow my pride but when the kids question why dad takes credit for what mom has done, it takes immense control not to chime in on my own behalf.

      • Jane on July 31, 2015 at 12:17 am

        Sunshine, this is a hard call. No child remains unscathed in this scenario. You must free them from this situation so they can be emotionally safe. A chaotic household has many lasting consequences. Have you read the book “How we Love”? It is a Christian book which speaks to adults who lived in chaotic households. Leaving your husband can be the first consequence that leads him to change. You children deserve a safe, healthy place to grow up. Not a perfect home, yet not a dangerous home, anything less will reap havoc on their precious hearts and minds.

        • Robin on August 1, 2015 at 12:47 am

          Jane– very well said. Thank you for sharing.

      • Lonely wife on August 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

        Sunshine….my H was raised in an emotionally abusive family…and now he himself is emotionally abusive.
        I recently asked him “If you lived such an abusive life as a child, WHY are you repeating the same behaviors in your own marriage?”
        He had no answer….because he uses his abusive past as a crutch for his current behavior, so it’s easier for him to always blame others for his behavior!
        I’m completely open and honest with my boys about the state of my marriage,( the youngest is 15 1/2) because they’ve seen for themselves how their father acts, his affair 5 yrs ago almost destroyed our family…I did try to hide the true state of my marriage from my boys, but after reading how many children turned against their mom for “causing problems in the marriage” because Dad “is such a nice guy” which is usually how it is…the abuser is very charming and easy going, as is my case with my husband…I decided it was time to be more honest when my boys saw or heard things that were wrong between my H and me.
        I’ve found that I don’t have to say much anymore, my H’s behavior says it all…as he’s realized that his boys see the REAL person behind the mask, he’s escalated his emotionally abusive behavior…not always, he still tries to pull the “Mr. Nice Guy” routine…but it falls flat most times.
        I am thankful that my marriage wasn’t always like this…just the last 5 yrs since the affair…so my boys seem to be OK….correction, my marriage has always been like this, but I didn’t see it…the blinders came off about 4 yrs ago, so when my children were younger, things were relatively calm, though when I think about the past, I do see instances of manipulative, emotionally abusive behavior, but we were just unaware of what we were seeing at the time.
        Sunshine, you have to do what is best for your children…talk to them, validate what they are seeing and feeling…and don’t cover for your husband any longer, otherwise, you could lose your children’s love and respect when they’re older…Just MHO.

    • Jennifer on August 2, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Sunshine, I just wonder if the heart of God is as rigid as our churches seem to be about this subject. Christ came to die for you husband’s sins, not you. Let Jesus reign as the savior he is!! Find a new church that preaches that only Christ’s life is the perfect sacrifice for a man’s sin, not the life of his wife and children.

  8. Brenda on July 29, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Leslie,
    I suppose I never thought there was a really, really good until I was divorced. I feel quite bad for the W in this scenario that spent 30 years before separating to wake H up.

    Now I spend time with a man who’s wife is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s. Our time together is very, very good. He goes to see her every day and makes sure his phone is always with him in case of emergencies. My children think it is great. Friends…..not so much. I find no scripture to support this one way or the other. In the OT, I believe she would have been put away and cared for while the H moved on to a new wife. We don’t have a sexual relationship although he did ask me about how I felt about certain aspects at one point. At first I found that inappropriate, but then found out why he asked and understood that he didn’t want to tie me down to an eventual relationship that he couldn’t give.

    • Jane on July 31, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Brenda, Are you involved in emotional adultery? Should you be spending time with another woman’s husband, especially when she is vulnerable and ill. This is a man you need to run away from. He is cheating on his wife with you. When you are old and ill, he will find yet another to fill his emotional needs and mention sexual needs to test her too.

    • Paula on July 31, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      I agree with Jane. This relationship is not appropriate.

      To quote you: “We don’t have a sexual relationship although he did ask me about how I felt about certain aspects at one point. At first I found that inappropriate, but then found out why he asked and understood that he didn’t want to tie me down to an eventual relationship that he couldn’t give.”

      When you say, “At first I found that inappropriate,” that was a big red flag, your conscience, and your intuition speaking to you. Please reconsider whether there have been others. Do not rationalize or ignore it when a red flag comes up.

      • Brenda on August 1, 2015 at 7:51 am

        I have found negative judgment through those who know very little about our relationship just as I did from the No-divorce-for-any-reason group when I was going through divorce from an abusive spouse. Did I initially see a red flag–yes!! Did the flag come down–yes. For reasons that I don’t intend to discuss on a public blog. I have nothing to fear from this relationship and am not in an adulteress affair. I have my eyes wide open and ask God to search my heart on going. I do not consider early morning walks or spending time talking about anything and everything including family memories a bad thing. I did the same thing with a 79 year young woman friend yesterday afternoon, but no one sees a problem with that. I did have questions at first, but not any longer. God placed this man in my life for a purpose that is unclear, but I am sure, without doubt, there is a reason.

        • Leslie Vernick on August 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

          Brenda, I want this blog to be judgment free but I think women are learning to speak up and use their voice and share their opinions and ask questions, which I love and support. I have seen this done with Aleea, with David and now with some choices you are making. Hopefully it is always done in a spirit of love and concern. I think women are concerned for you – that’s all. But ultimately you are responsible for you and your choices and we just want you to be safe and to be careful that you are not blind to some things. Hebrews 5:14 says, “Let us encourage one another day after day lest anyone of us become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” I think we all need to be open to wise others at times, even if what they say is hard for us to hear. They may be totally off, or they may have a smidgen of truth to their words that God wants us to hear. The O of CORE is “I will be OPEN to the Holy Spirit and Wise others who God uses to speak into my life. We love you.

          • Brenda on August 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

            Leslie, Few questions have been asked here and the judgment I have felt is not from this blog. It may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have no problem with questions generally, but over the last few days I have had more than my fair share. I do appreciate those who love me and want to see me living the most Godly life that I can.

            I will send you an email. I do not want to discuss the rest of this openly and now wish I hadn’t said a word.

            Brenda



        • Lisa on August 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm

          How did you meet one another?

          • Jane on August 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

            Brenda it must feel nice to have a friend to walk and talk with. Unfortunately, this is another woman’s husband. Isn’t it? Or did I miss something?



  9. Melissa on July 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I was in a very abusive marriage to the point where something abusive happened daily and this was after our two oldest daughters had been beaten in a domestic abuse attack. I was blind-sided with him asking me for a divorce because he didn’t like me and I was a bitch. I was only trying to deal with each girl and the feelings from childhood that were pumping adrenaline through my veins and leaving me with a terror my girls would be in abusive relationships. I knew I had not broken the cycle. He is not a Christian. I had given up everything about me, all of my callings, my volunteer time, and even church and then he asked me for a divorce. He is narcissistic and a socio-path. All three girls are turned against me. I have had to deal with Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Anxiety and PTSD (confirmed diagnosis). All of this with him abusing me through controlling the kids, the money, two forensic audits for which I had to pull all financial information together for five years. I tried to work, but in the end it was too much and I lost my business. Try to listen to Leslie and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit and do it with Core Strength. I didn’t and my children are embarrassed because after he asked me for a divorce and then had a 19 and 1/2 hour argument with me (ripping me apart and removing every bit of self-esteem I had left), I reacted without thinking and had an affair. It was stupid and the guilt from this and breaking up another family hurts me daily. This guy liked me (I was unaware) and he was looking for a way out of his marriage. Long story short, listen to Leslie. Read. Don’t break God’s commandments. I am barely living and many days I don’t want to live. My children were everything to me. Yes, I love my husband, but he was very jealous and often made me feel like a slut with his daily accusations. I have asked for forgiveness, but can’t seem to accept it for myself. My husband has his soul mate now and they are with my 3 girls. I don’t even get to take my youngest to college. I have missed out on many firsts during her last 4 years. I wish I had counseled with Leslie, had the information through a book or had a friend who would have stayed with me through this, encouraging me with God’s Word and love. I lost everything but God. I lost my husband, my children, my house, my dog, my car, my business and in the end, he managed to drop all of the marital debt on me because we had to take a business through bankruptcy in 2008 and the attorneys had us put all personal debt in my name I wonder if the planning started then. He was abusive not only with his words, the lies he told our children, but also the physical (sexual) abuse I was forced to participate in each morning so his anger would not blow. I have not told our girls my side of the story. They don’t want to hear it. Many days I want to curl up into a ball and die. I had it all and sometimes I think I should have stayed in the marriage, taken the abuse and I would have at least had my children. The abuse was killing me, in fact, I threatened suicide many times. Stay true to the Lord’s Word, using your Core strengths and stay away from anything that is from Satan. I am living the consequences of it. I am miserable, my family will not forgive me, my husband has told lies to turn people again me and I have hidden myself away in a very cheap apartment, alone and with no one. Do not follow my example. Run from it. Measure it against God’s Word. I knew better, but I could not get him to leave me alone and quit tearing me apart. Almost daily, he accused me of having an affair. I never had an affair on him. I loved him with my whole heart and could not figure out why he was hurting me the way he treated me. He has his “soul mate” and they will be taking my daughter to college. The hurt is incredible. I pray you will allow the Holy Spirit to teach you the Core Strengths through Leslie so you never have to experience what I am going through. I cannot even go out to the movies or out to dinner because my money is so tight with the credit cards. I put him through graduate school in our mid-20’s and sold the farm land I inherited from my mom. I never wanted to sell the farm land, but I was promised I could be a stay at home mom. It never happened. It was promised 3 times and denied 3 times. To me, my life is a waste. Please pray for me. There are many days I am not sure I am going to live through this. I have no money to take the girls on vacation. He can easily do this. You will be in my prayers as you walk your own journey. I screwed mine up every step of the way. I pray the Holy Spirit will touch you and open your eyes when the situation is applicable to you. I will continue to pray for you, so please post. I love each one of you through the love of the Lord

    • Theresa on July 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Praying

    • Susanne on July 30, 2015 at 2:29 am

      Melissa, My heart goes out to you tonight as I read your story. I’m feeling your pain. Please know that I am praying that the Lord will intervene in your situation. I pray for God’s guidance and protection. Praying for restoration with your daughters…. Praying for finances to come in. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus Phil 4:9. God is so forgiving. We all sin and when we repent, He forgives us and doesn’t remember our sins any more. Don’t continue to beat yourself up. Give it all to Him. Trust Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Please don’t give up. You have been through so much but remember that what the enemy meant for harm, God will turn around for good in His time and His way. He truly does, when we continue to seek Him. It is so difficult to see this sometimes when we’re in the midst of things, but God will be with you and you will come through this with Him. Your sisters on this blog are here for you too.

      I don’t usually tell this part of my story, but I’m feeling led to say that my first husband committed suicide and my dad died 4 months later. My son was 9 years old at the time and we were living with my mom and dad. My son turned to drugs in his teen years. There were times when I wanted my life to end. What I didn’t realize is how much my son needed me, even though I didn’t know where he was for so many years. I didn’t know if he even was alive. My second husband was extremely abusive. After our separation, I lost most of my friends (or those I considered friends). My church betrayed me and the church I’m in now, well I’m not so sure how they feel about my present situation either. I will be divorced in a couple of weeks. I have felt alone, dismayed, questioned myself due to all of the years of abuse and lost interest in many things that I loved before. I felt that so much was stripped away from my life. It has only been most recently (after 3 years of separation) that I have had any peace. Through God’s Word, prayer and friends on Leslie’s blogs who have encouraged me that I can now say that I’m ok with it all. I can go on with the Lord and it doesn’t matter what my ex does or says. It’s who the Lord says I am that I trust and believe with all my heart.

      Please know you are loved and have value. I will continue to keep you in my prayers dear sister.

      • Betsy on July 30, 2015 at 7:24 am

        Susanne

        Thank you for your post. I have been reading and commenting on this blog for just a few short weeks, and what an amazing group of women found here. We are not alone, we are not crazy, and we can find freedom despite our circumstances.

        • Susanne on July 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

          Amen Betsy! Have a GOD day!

        • Elizabeth on August 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm

          I agree, Betsy. I have been reading and writing on this blog for over a year and what a blessing and encouragement it has been for me. I am in the process of moving and have not been active but am always blessed to hear all your stories and how God has met you when I have been able to read it. Thank you all and let’s keep our eyes on Jesus as He, our good Shepherd leads us and provides for us. Love you all. Thank you Leslie for making this possible.

    • Jane on July 31, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Someone once told me in the middle of a terrible situation that didn’t seem to have any hope, that Jesus loves me. It doesn’t change the situation, but it is so very true. So, yes, terrible things have happened. The past is the past. What are doing with today? How can you live better today? Today is all we have.

  10. Leonie on July 29, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I like the comment – “Let my wife be different from me”

  11. Valerie on July 29, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Praise the Lord! Way to go (H), way to go. So good to hear of a man owning his stuff with honesty, and so willing to do the very hard work to change for his “God”, his wife, and himself. Awesome

  12. Aleea on July 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    H,
    Thank you for sharing so much in your post, lots to think about. . . . . Your comment ”. . . . The biggest thing of all- preach the Gospel to yourself every day, and live the Gospel in your marriage every day – in other words don’t try to earn your relationship with God or your wife, and give and rest in unconditional love. Forgive and don’t let the resentment build up. Release it every day and grant each other daily forgiveness.”  . . . . . . —That is so beautiful.  Not salvation by character, —character by, as the fruit of, salvation.  The gospel, the assurance that we have been loved —loved by God, loved with a righteous love that makes no bargain as to merit, or fitness, or goodness —live the gospel every day, exactly H!  —And forgiveness I see as the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it (—really hard stuff!)  Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, yet forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life (—just like the gospel.)  Great reminders, thank you H!   —and thank you Leslie for all your time making all this even possible.

  13. Kathy on July 30, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Wow! Many, many thanks to H for sharing his story! It proves there IS hope, although I’m afraid it wasn’t to be that way for me. After 20+ years, I’m forging ahead into a new life and that’s ok. I hope your story touches many others out there and let’s them see that they are not alone and there is something they can do – if they are willing. You seem to have gained very valuable wisdom, and I pray that you continue to do so. God’s Blessings to you and your wife as you learn a new way of doing things.

  14. Susanne on July 30, 2015 at 2:00 am

    God bless you H for doing the hard work of change. God bless your marriage. It is so refreshing to read this story. It’s wonderful to know that there are men that actually see the need for change, value the covenant they made before God and man and actually want their marriage to right before the Lord. Glory to God!

    • Susanne on July 30, 2015 at 2:41 am

      Correction: to be right before the Lord

  15. Laura Di on July 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Reading through this entire post I was drawn to pray deeply for all the situations mentioned. I have grown from what I’ve read, shared and taken from this venue. i believe all of gathered here all being shepherded with love, care and kindness. I stopped to meditate and place prayer on a few thoughts. Especially compelling was the thought, ” behaving honorably means you act with integrity, congruency, and alignment with the person you are or say you want to be, not how you feel in the moment. You behave honorably because that’s who you are, not because the other person deserves it.” That is CORE strength work which parallels with something H shared. A method he uses can be shared by all who gather here to reroute a situation to a better direction. In that part he talks about moods and the power of the mind. In the section titled Enduring flat and discouraging times, he said, “when you’re down and discouraged, it’s incredibly helpful to know that you have the power to change the way you feel because you have the power to choose what you think about.” 1 Peter 5:7 “ Cast all your cares upon Him “ is a scriptural passage that leads me to a fervent discipline of using this passage when my own mood is altered and needs to change. God Bless!

  16. Leonie on July 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    i am curious to hear W’s side of the experience.
    I pray that God has brought healing to her and continues to as her marriage changes for the better!
    Ladies, I still have no resolution on what to do about my daughter & her visitation with her dad. The judge warned me not to keep her from seeing her dad but he is hiding where he is living & she says she “is staying at the gas station hotel far away.” The officer I called said he can’t advise me on visitation issues. My lawyer is not answering my calls & emails. The child protection agency in my area say I have a right to know where she is. I am responsible for her safety so I am inclined to keep her with me until my ex can provide an address of a house or apartment before she goes again. The hotel I suspect he is at is right where a bunch of the massage parlours are and I am concerned he is having “paid women” visiting his room when she is there.

    • Leslie Vernick on July 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Leonie, W will share her side next week. Stay tuned.

    • Robin on August 1, 2015 at 1:41 am

      Jane– very well said. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Leonie on July 31, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Melissa, I have taken tremendous comfort from the psalms! I have a bible that is divided up by days of the year so you read a piece from the OT, NT, psalms & proverbs every day. I have been waking up before the rest of my household and using it and if I can’t or don’t I really miss “hearing & talking to God” that day.
    I never understood why thy psalms are in the bible but now they have been my strength and comfort – there are so many psalms that touch the heart of someone who has been through an abusive situation! I am glad you are no longer with your abuser – can you reach out to your daughter by phone, email, or letter mail & just let her know you would do anything to be with her as she is going off to college and you will do what you can to stay in contact, visit her if finances allow, think of her & her sisters and always love her very much. Just leave the door wide open verbally in anyway you can for your daughters with no explanations or justifications … just love & availability because you are their mom!
    My ex did this to me when my daughter was going through her grade 8 graduation and her step mom did all the mom stuff with her and I felt so wronged, cheated and displaced but in just a few short years she has come around & I will be the one doing all this with her next year for her grade 12 grad!!
    It does hurt and feel so wrong and evil that you have been cut out or pushed out but God hears our cries & feels our pain and he cares. Psalm 34 always jumps out at me, psalm 37 is amazing too. I often repeat the 23rd psalm to myself when I am overwhelmed! If you have trusted in Christ his righteousness is yours – his eyes are on you and his ears are attentive to your cry! Don’t lose heart, I am praying for you.

    • Robin on August 1, 2015 at 1:49 am

      Leonie, never forget….. You have a right and a responsibility to protect your child. You do need an address. If your lawyer isn’t answering you, go to his office or make appt. one of the biggest things I learned in my divorce process– was don’t expect others to do for you– but be your own ADVOCATE!!!!!!!!!! Praying for you Leonie!!!!!

  18. Maria on July 31, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Leslie, it’s great to read about abusers who have put in the work to change. But statistics for this are very low. When faced with consequences, H realized his wrong doing and repented. Many of our spouses have little self awareness, do not take responsibility for anything they do and are very comfortable with themselves. That is our reality. I know that God is powerful and can change lives, but how do people in such situations, live in reality and also hold on to hope that God can change a person?

    • Leslie Vernick on July 31, 2015 at 10:56 am

      You’re so right Maria, so few change. So few are willing to take any responsibility. So few are willing to do the work. THerefore I wanted to post a story of one who did. But this blog is very much about women who are married to men who do not change or take responsibility or do the work. I talk about living in CORE strength and you can read more about that in my book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage as well as watch some free video’s on my home page at http://www.leslievernick.com

  19. Linda on July 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Thank you again for your wise counsel and opportunity to post and share with others who will benefit and have answers to questions regarding Gods stand on certain situations and circumstances people are struggling with. Thank you for all the emails and insight, compassion and understanding you share.
    Sincerely
    Linda Mullin

  20. Brenda on July 31, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Jane,
    These are things that were on my mind. Do I care for him? Yes. Do I love him? Yes. Is there more? That is impossible!! My friend is well past 80. By the time I am old or if the Lord calls me home, he will no longer be among us. He has cancer and can no longer function as a man in the Biblical sense and has been given 2 to 4 years at best. Thus the questions and wanting to know my expectations. Was I looking for a man at all? Absolutely not. He is the kindest, intelligent attractive man I have ever known. After the abuse I have endured, I find this a blessing.

    I go on long walks with him. I also go on walks with my boss and his brother. Should I stop doing this because they are married men and have fully functional wives? Should we not speak of anything other than business? That might make us too close and/or vulnerable to temptation. During our walk this morning we discussed whether or not the planet Pluto is a real planet of not. That is some really adulterous stuff there.

    I thank you so much for your concern. I appreciate it and did feel red flags at first, but no longer. My eyes are always open and my ears listening for God’s gentle voice.

    • Jane on August 1, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for the response Brenda. Have you invited your Brother’s wife and your Bosses wife to go on the walks? I think walking with your brother is very appropriate. Aging can be a lonely and difficult journey, yet I can’t help thinking that their is “no fool like an old fool.” It is playing with fire at any age. to engage emotionally with another woman’s husband. Why not bring a few others on your walks with Mr. Right and see if he is still interested. Why doesn’t he join you and your brother? Would the conversations be different. I think your resistance might sadly, indicate something is a miss. The truth can hurt, I hope I was gentle enough with your heart.

      • Jane on August 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        Sorry, I reread your post, that you are walking with your Boss’ brother, not your brother. I will you had brother available to give you advice on this one. My father in law is 94 and has married five times. He still wanted some kind of sex at 80. Don’t be a fool with this one Brenda. He was testing you and playing the sympathy card to throw you off your game and convince you to ignore the red flags. You deserve someone even better than him to love.

  21. Brenda on August 2, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Jane,
    These men that I walk with are my boss and his brother, not mine. Their wives both work and are confident in their husbands fidelity. I think we put way too much emphasis on gender and not enough on the actions and intention of the individuals for 17 years. I work with my boss alone in an office every single day. Should he hire a male to do my job so he is not alone with a woman? That would make for a law suit for me if he did.

    Brenda

  22. Brenda on August 2, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Jane,
    My step brother is a pedophile and an intravenous drug user for many years. I wouldn’t take any advice from him, but do look to the Lord and His Word for guidance.

    I’m no longer that person that can be easily fooled as I once was. I am not gullible and can throw questions right back. That first question was the only one that threw me off track and it didn’t last long. I threw questions right back and was able to get to the deep parts of the truth. We do challenge one another, that is a given.

    I am not being “a fool”. I am being a friend. I don’t deserve him. He cares for me and wants what is best for me. He gives me far more than I will ever be able to return. I do appreciate your concern.
    Brenda

    • Jennifer on August 2, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Brenda, Do you know if Mr. Right’s wife said to him that it is ok to have an affair? Did she say that if you are lonely and need a lady friend before I die, please, be happy dear and find another. Has this man had other affairs of the heart and mind? Surely this is not his first one.

      I understand that you have been hurt and feel you deserve some happiness and fun. It would seem your behavior is in question, not necessarily your Boss’. Might you honor the other women in this scenario by not being “the Other Woman’? Ask some friends to join you to guard your honor and to make no reason for unbelievers to be turned away from God because of you actions. Let’s me holy in all our actions.

      It feels fun to be wanted, listened to and admired. An married man should not be offering this to you. But you know that deep down inside, you just don’t want that to be the answer, right?

  23. Brenda on August 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Lisa,
    We met the day that I moved into the apartment building 2 years ago. He thought I was helping my daughter move in and she told him, “no, my mom is moving in”. He waved and said, “Hi, mom”. From there we had short conversations, we’ve exchanged food items (I have a patio garden, he buys things and there is too much for one person). He is always positive. It’s always a good day. For the longest time he called me by another first name, but I never corrected him. One day, out of no where, he knew my name and has had it right ever since. This year after the loss of my grandson, he went out of his way to find out when my birthday was and left a very moving card on my door.
    Thank you for asking. Brenda

  24. David on August 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you Leslie, thank you. A man’s story. It gives me hope. Many of us husbands realize much we have hurt our wives and wants change. My wife as given up on me and Christianity as a whole. But your story from a man’s perspective is very refreshing and definitely hope it cause a response from the ladies (wives) other the extreme hatred that I felt.

    PS on another note, as we often hear, we should never, ever be close to a member of the opposite gender… For what it is worth think that Brenda is playing with fire

    • David on August 2, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I hold my wife doesn’t give up like Leonie

      • David on August 2, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        Sounds like this Lundy Bancroft guy is very very negative and I will do everything to avoid him as seems I would find him to be very discouraging, but something I need

        • David on August 3, 2015 at 9:09 am

          Sounds like that if a believed this Bancroft that my only choice is suicide

          • Leslie Vernick on August 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

            You do have another choice, submit yourself to godly counsel and change.



  25. Brenda on August 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    David,
    I learned a long time ago not to play with matches.
    Brenda

    • Lonely wife on August 4, 2015 at 1:08 am

      😀

  26. Leonie on August 2, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Robin,
    It was an interview on a podcast called “The Audacious Life” on you tube – it was an an interview with Lundy Bancroft. there is a search feature on You Tube & it should come up.
    Thanks for your encouragement. The lawyer finally called me & I got to deal with a few issues and find out what I needed.
    There was another interview with Patricia Evans about verbal abuse that opened my eyes too. It talks about how verbal abusers try to define you – it does help you recognize when someone is trying to tell you how you feel or who you are or what you think ….. There are some good strategies on there to use. Obviously, I am separated and no longer trying to figure out how to repair my relationship with my ex but there are some strategies I can use to help my children and help them to think through when someone is trying to do this to them too.
    Best wishes to H & W as they work through their issues with Leslie’s wise & godly guidance. Thanks for being willing to share the journey with us.

    • Robin on August 3, 2015 at 12:46 am

      Leonie, thanks for info but I do t think we’re talking about same thing. You had recommended to someone to read an article by Lundy Bancroft, and I think it was off A Cry For Justice. It was a good article but can’t remember which blog it was on. Also I’m very proud of you, for moving forward. You sound strong even tho I know there are trials. Thanks for keeping us informed so we can pray effectively. You’re doing a great job!!!!

      • Kathy on August 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm

        Robin – The book Lundy has written on this is excellent: Why Does He Do That? He writes from a professional viewpoint, while understanding how faith plays a role in our perceptions. (In spite of the supposed claim to non-Christian beliefs) Well worth the read.

        • Robin on August 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm

          I’ve read Lundy’s books both of them on how to know if he is an abuser and whether to stay or go. The second one was a 2nd bible for me for a long time. I love the way he gives so much encouragement and prods women on to a deeper focus on their own growth. Thank you Kathy for sharing your recommendation on his books!!!!

  27. Leonie on August 3, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Robin, was it one of these:
    “Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” a 1 hr & 50 minute talk on You Tube (also part of the title of one of his books.).
    Another was “Understanding the Batterer in Custody and Visitation Disputes” – an article online,
    A book called “When Dad Hurts Mom – Helping your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse.”
    He said some of the same things in the “How to spot red flags when dating.” about abusers not changing.
    He worked a lot with men who batter their wives so I find his work speaks a lot of truth to my situation – battering is a very negative behaviour and he ‘hits the nail on the head’ when it comes to helping me understand the behaviours, patterns and what my experiences were with my ex.
    He really gets it and speaks so well to what an abused woman & her children need and how to help her. I think if judges, lawyers and other professionals who help abused women read his work they will really be able to understand the problem & help. In a way it seems like all these men have read the same play book or gone to the same ‘abuser ‘school.

    • Robin on August 3, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Nope it wasn’t on utube. An article from A Cry for Justice. In re: to your comment about abusers going to same school- I believe most have unhealed childhood wounds.

      • Leonie on August 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        There was a reference iny 1st post – “I don’t trust my husband, should we be having sex.” Was that it?

        • Robin on August 4, 2015 at 11:26 pm

          I don’t think so.

  28. Brenda on August 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Jennifer,
    Hmmmmm, this sounds like a repeat of someone else who can’t quite get with the whole, “it really is ok to have a friend who is not the same gender as I am and you won’t convince me that this is ok” and it is really ok to love them. I love lots of people, it doesn’t mean I am having an affair with them. He is not having an affair, at least not with me. Last night we had a theology discussion and this morning a walk at 5:30 am. I only brought up my boss because I do the same things with him and no one, including his wife, has a problem with it. Mr. Right–I don’t know about you, but I have not yet met such a person.

    No, Jennifer. I don’t know that!! I have other men who listen to me and say some pretty words about me from time to time. I am not at a loss for being appreciated. I wasn’t appreciated by the former anti-husband, but men I work with and go to church with I do have.

    My honor is in tact!! and my real friends and family are supportive, as are his. I pray that if I find another person who is in the same position I am, that I will be supportive and not attempt to shame them. I feel absolutely no shame for my relationship with him. You don’t know all of the circumstances and I am not going into them in this forum as I have already done so with Leslie and that is enough for me.

    Thank you again, Leslie. My love and prayers are always with you.

    Brenda

    • David on August 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Is an appearance of evil

      • David on August 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm

        Hi Brenda. Others (unbelievers) do not know or understand your true intent so think the typical thing and are ‘led’ astray. That’s all. Nothing more needs to be said on this matter

    • Leslie Vernick on August 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Brenda, as I said earlier, I think ladies here want your best, but only you and God can ultimately determine that.

  29. Leonie on August 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    David, I don’t think it is the Holy Spirit speaking into your heart if that is what you feel your option is. Usually he doesn’t lead that way.

    • David on August 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Just determined that Bancroft is not a Christian (by his own admission) so I can ignore him and despite what he says I do have hope. He is a bad man

      • Kathy on August 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        David – I sense you are troubled, but hasty judgements aren’t wise. Bancroft may not be a Christian, but he openly acknowledges that it is a vital part of recovery for many. His skill and knowledge should not be ignored just because he isn’t a professing Christian. He has more success and understanding with reclaiming the lives of those caught up in abusing than any other professional in his field and should be respected for that. My faith is very important to me, but Bancroft has earned my respect, no matter his affiliation.

        • David on August 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm

          He is quite clear that abusers cannot ever change so he gives me NO HOPE and without a belief he doesn’t appreciate that God can do the impossible. So in conclusion if I were to believe him I have no future but when I found out the he was not a Christian it gave me a ray of hope

          • Kathy on August 4, 2015 at 8:30 am

            Actually, he says something very different. He maintains that while very few ever will – some DO succeed. The reason why is the key – those who don’t succeed stop trying. They didn’t want it bad enough or for the right reasons. I give him credit for continuing to work with abusers since he so rarely gets to see a “success case” – it must be very hard for him to watch people stop trying.



          • Carol on August 16, 2015 at 3:54 am

            David, it is true that abusers can’t change fundamentally, and Christians especially should come to this very same conclusion.

            However, what is also true is that we are all abusers, and we can all BE changed. One must surrender first though, and this is the part that rarely happens.

            I don’t know this bancroft, but many of the personality disorders are considered totally hopeless by secular therapists.

            Truly if any one is waiting on human ability to bring about meaningful change in their spouse, they will be waiting forever.

            I can do all things, through Christ who gives me strength.



        • David on August 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

          “He has more success and understanding with reclaiming the lives of those caught up in abusing than any other professional” maybe for victims but he gives no hope for abusers

        • Robin on August 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm

          AMEN – AMEN!!!!!
          I also deeply respect Lundy Bancroft. It was refreshing to hear a secular mans view!!! I appreciate him giving us the wisdom he has gained from many experiences of working with abusive men!!!!!!

  30. Brenda on August 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Leslie,
    Yes, you did say that. You did not judge and you did not use any of the phrases that were used here.

    As I said before, I am taking a hiatus from the blogosphere. It’s time.

    Brenda

    • Kathy on August 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Brenda – If you’re still “listening”, I pray for you. Life is hard. The choices we are faced with are often hard. Only you know what is right for you, and with an open heart listening for that still, small voice of our savior, you’ll do what is right… for you. God bless you sister!

      • Brenda on August 19, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        Kathy,
        Thank you for your prayers. I was “listening”, but too proud to even say thank you. I am sorry for that.. This was very right for me. As of tonight, we won’t be seeing each other any more.

        How much heartbreak is one person able to take in their life? I said a while ago that I couldn’t do this again……and here we go!! I don’t understand why God doesn’t take me home.

        • Kathy on August 19, 2015 at 9:51 pm

          Brenda: because He has something even better and bigger waiting out there for you – and for me! We will get there, but we need to listen ever so carefully for His voice… it’s so easy to miss, and so easy to get distracted! (speaking from personal experience here) I applaud you for being strong enough to make a very tough choice… but I think that maybe you will see things begin to work in your favor as a result.

          You share such wonderful insights on these blogs, and have so much encouragement and wisdom to offer all of us. I have often been encouraged by your comments, and I’m sure others can say the same. Stay with us girlfriend – you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for! Prayers & hugs!

          • Brenda on August 20, 2015 at 7:19 am

            Kathy,
            I made it through the night, but sleep did not come. It could be a very long day here at work.

            My gentleman friend is dying. I knew that from the beginning or close to it. It is one day at a time quite literally. Each day that he wakes up is a good day. He chose for me that I would not be there for him. It is more painful than a 20 year marriage.

            Right now I feel like jello. Thank you for your kind words. I hope God has a bucket for the tears he is collecting today.

            Brenda



          • Leslie Vernick on August 20, 2015 at 11:11 am

            Brenda you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry that your good friend is dying. Death stinks.



  31. Leonie on August 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Robin – a cry for justice post April 28, 2015 – there is a link to Lundy Bancroft’s lecture. Is that the one?

    • Robin on August 4, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      I’m busy packing my ex husbands things up Leonie. This is a daily project for 2 weeks I am doing to keep him off my property. When I have a minute, I’ll look it up. Thanks for helping me find it again!!!!!

      • Leonie on August 5, 2015 at 9:25 am

        That is smart Robin!
        My ex got a variation on his bail & has a right to come into the home with a police escort. He said it was to pick up his work laptop which is a lie, he wouldn’t have been able to work at his job since May if he didn’t have it. I am so upset about this but am packing up his stuff. At least police will be there and I will be too. I would much prefer to put everything in the garage & he come once after we separate assets thru the court process. It is what it is but I am so surprised at how traumatizing it is for me! I am also astonished how brazenly he can lie to a judge at his court appearances & to police officers.

        • Robin on August 9, 2015 at 1:43 am

          Leonie my situation is a little different as my divorce is final and the house was given to me. My husband has proved to be a rager and so yes he doesn’t want to cause a scene with a police escort- but I’m glad you have protection!!!!!!!

  32. Kathy on August 4, 2015 at 8:24 am

    David: That is exactly who he is giving hope to – IF they are willing to face the long hard road ahead. It is an enormous task, and one that seems impossible but it CAN succeed. The same as anyone from the “housing projects” can turn their life around and become a successful business tycoon – if you want it bad enough; if it’s important enough to “win” – you will. The key is whether or not they want to be in a healthy relationship bad enough. Pretty much the same reason many of us are following Leslie’s blogs and articles. We are all on different roads to “healthy relationships”, but there is much to be learned from others’ journeys.

  33. Kathy on August 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Brenda: because He has something even better and bigger waiting out there for you – and for me! We will get there, but we need to listen ever so carefully for His voice… it’s so easy to miss, and so easy to get distracted! (speaking from personal experience here) I applaud you for being strong enough to make a very tough choice… but I think that maybe you will see things begin to work in your favor as a result.

    You share such wonderful insights on these blogs, and have so much encouragement and wisdom to offer all of us. I have often been encouraged by your comments, and I’m sure others can say the same. Stay with us girlfriend – you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for! Prayers & hugs!

  34. Brenda on August 20, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Thank you Leslie!! If I were given a vote, he wouldn’t be pushing me out, but it is his decision, not mine.

  35. Kathy on August 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    So sorry to hear he is dying. That’s a tough one. You are right though, it is his decision. God is with you & we’ll all be praying for an extra measure of strength for you.

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